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NEW SAILS

Aug 11, 2011
650
O'day 30 313 Georgetown MD
My new main sail arrived today. It's loose footed, versus my original bolt roped. Looking up the differences on line I have found much information, with the greater pros to the loose foot over the fixed. Any wisdom from the group as to good, bad or indifferent?
 
Feb 21, 2013
3,638
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
Good choice!! When there is a bolt rope in the sail running in a track on the boom, the loads are spread out along the boom and it is better from a structural standpoint fto have mid-boom sheeting. However, on a loose footed sail, all of the loads are concentrated at the end of the boom. Loose footed mainsail pros and cons:

Pros
  • Better sail shape control because there is no foot
  • No flattening reef needed
  • Easier construction because a shelf does not have to be made & slides do not have to be fitted resulting in lower cost
  • Easier control because you don't have to fight sail slugs on the boom
  • Easier furling and reefing because the foot is free
Cons
  • Tendency for foot flutter while sailing close-hauled with the mainsail trimmed in hard and the outhaul taut, albeit never had that experience
Do an internet search on "loose or bolt rope footed mainsail" and you will find many threads and articles like these:
Do I Want a Loose Footed Mainsail? | Voyager Sails Cruising News (wordpress.com)
Loose Foot vs. Attached Mainsail (fxsails.com)
 
Last edited:
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Jan 7, 2011
2,836
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I got a new loose-footed main from North Sail 2 seasons ago. I wanted full-battens, so they recommended a Tides Marine Strong Track…since the battens would create some pressure pushing into the mas.

I like the whole set up a lot. Sail shape is easy to maintain (I am lazy and don’t spend too much time on sail trim), raising and lower sail is much easier, and I think I get more power out of light winds with the loose foot (better sail shape all the way down to the boom).

I do have a Mack Pack sail bag and jacks, so in light air, I pull the jacks forward to the mast and roll the bag down and out of the way so the sail can take the right shape. In strong winds, I don’t bother...boat makes hull speed pretty easily.

Enjoy the new sail!

Greg
 
Oct 26, 2010
1,406
Hunter 40.5 Beaufort, SC
I do have a Mack Pack sail bag and jacks, so in light air, I pull the jacks forward to the mast and roll the bag down and out of the way so the sail can take the right shape. In strong winds, I don’t bother...boat makes hull speed pretty easily.

Greg
Interesting. I wasn't aware you could even use a loose footed sail with a Mack Pack? Learn something knew every day.
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,836
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Interesting. I wasn't aware you could even use a loose footed sail with a Mack Pack? Learn something knew every day.
I had the Mack Pack before I replaced the sail. I had a bolt rope in the foot if the old sail. But no issues with the new sail.
IMG_0858 1.jpg 035D49C4-31FA-4AA3-8B7B-6CD12A1281DF.jpeg

Greg
 
Jun 8, 2004
2,555
Catalina 320 Dana Point
I've got a loose foot Ullman Offshore with full battens and Dutchman, nothing not to love about it.
 

Joe

.
Jun 1, 2004
7,416
Catalina 27 Mission Bay, San Diego
Note: even with an attached foot or shelf foot mainsail, most or the load will be on the corners. There's no advantage or disadvantage on this issue. The advantage of the loose foot over an attached foot main is the consistency of the draft depth and position in the lower third of the sail. Adding a shelf to the foot of the sail will give you the same improved performance the loose foot offers, plus, possibly preventing air flow from leaking out under the foot. On a larger boat the shelf may even double as a convenient hammock for a weary crew.;)
 
Oct 7, 2008
360
Oday Oday 35 Chesapeake Bay
Has anyone removed the packing nut on the Oday 34/35? Mine was so tight it would not budge. I was using two large pipe wrenches. From what I have read, it looks like you are supposed to push and pull the wrenches to come together.
 

dmax

.
Jul 29, 2018
470
O'Day 35 Buzzards Bay
I have taken mine off, it wasn't stuck so very easy. Looking towards the stern, the packing nut loosens by turning it counter-clockwise - the locking nut behind it loosens by turning it clockwise. Using two pipe wrenches, you would push them together/pull them apart (depending on their position) to spin the packing nut and locking nut as described. Leverage is your friend, use the longest pipe wrenches you can get and/or extend them with pipes if you're having difficulty.
 
Aug 2, 2009
462
Catalina 28MKII Muskegon
Has anyone removed the packing nut on the Oday 34/35? Mine was so tight it would not budge. I was using two large pipe wrenches. From what I have read, it looks like you are supposed to push and pull the wrenches to come together.
Wow...talk about thread drift.
 
Jan 7, 2011
2,836
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
Has anyone removed the packing nut on the Oday 34/35? Mine was so tight it would not budge. I was using two large pipe wrenches. From what I have read, it looks like you are supposed to push and pull the wrenches to come together.
Does yours look like this?


I cannot use regular wrenches on mine. But I have taken it off completely, cleaned and lubricated the threads…works Ok now.

Greg
 
Oct 7, 2008
360
Oday Oday 35 Chesapeake Bay
I have taken mine off, it wasn't stuck so very easy. Looking towards the stern, the packing nut loosens by turning it counter-clockwise - the locking nut behind it loosens by turning it clockwise. Using two pipe wrenches, you would push them together/pull them apart (depending on their position) to spin the packing nut and locking nut as described. Leverage is your friend, use the longest pipe wrenches you can get and/or extend them with pipes if you're having difficulty.
Thanks. This is very helpful. I'll give it a try after I pull the boat this season.